New York Fashion Week’s Best Runway Looks




NYC is the city of dreams, and the first one out of the gate for Fashion Month. See what the city’s designers have to offer for Spring 2021 with the five best looks from each standout collection.

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Kate and Laura Mulleavy have always created Rodarte through a dream lens, and that feeling exists for Spring 2021 even without the pomp and circumstance of a runway. Although the bridal themed collection that walked in an Upper East Side church last season was certainly evocative, we still have brides for spring, except this time around they’re frolicking on sun dappled mountains. The Rodarte woman is also exploring ’40s–inspired suiting and an array of loungewear from printed pajamas to logo sweatsuits—all topped off with a flower crown, of course. The design duo is embracing uncertainty here, knowing that women might still desire that standout piece, but are also in need comfort now. —Kerry Pieri

Jason Wu

Jason Wu is one of the few designers who presented in-person for New York Fashion Week, keeping his show small and adhering to COVID-19 restrictions. Set against tropical foliage on a boardwalk-inspired runway that calls to mind one of Wu’s favorite destinations, Tulum, Mexico, the designer showed a range of easy warm-weather ready maxi dresses and suiting in bold, bright shades of orange and yellow, offset with blues and greens. The cotton poplins and lightweight knits are part of his new contemporary-priced line, and serve as inviting propositions to wear on an escape from the city—or for a new life in closer proximity to nature. Wu took his bow wearing one of the “Distance Yourself From Hate” masks he designed in collaboration with Fabien Baron to benefit Gay Men’s Health Crisis, an organization food and PPE to communities of color who have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic and social injustice. —Kerry Pieri

Ulla Johnson

Ulla Johnson is the reigning queen of bohemian cool, and this season she takes us to Japan, even if it’s just a journey of the imagination. Johnson references ceremonial dress and traditional Japanese artisanal techniques—including shibori resist dyeing, hand weaving, and boro patchwork— in looks that meld structure with a welcome delicacy. There’s plenty of crocheted knitwear and easy denim pieces, as well as cascading ruffles on romantic looks that manage not to abandon an urban sensibility. The message is clear: no matter where we’re living or how we’re living, a pretty dress is always a welcome proposition. —Kerry Pieri

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